Assistant coach Gary Agnew gives his three impressions from the bench of the Pens' 5-2 loss to the NY Rangers.
1. The bad start, give up a goal, albeit on a bad bounce, we have to recover from those things. The goal six minutes later makes it 2-0 and it’s a long hill to get back up. We’re going to have those types of games where we have to battle back into it.
2. Too many penalties, six minors and 12 minutes to kill. They got the one power-play (goal). It gives the other team momentum.
3. We have to generate more off of our rebounds. We take shots, we need more people hunting down rebounds and setting screens and creating something offensively.
Michelle Crechiolo gives her three takeaways.
1. Tough weekend
After a painful loss to the first-place Islanders on Friday, the Pens had a chance this afternoon to rebound and make up ground in another big divisional game against the Rangers, and they just let it slip away. The work ethic and execution just wasn’t there, and that needs to be rectified moving forward. “For whatever reason, our emotion and our intensity level wasn’t there today,” captain Sidney Crosby said. “I don’t know if it was the first afternoon game in a while or whatever the explanation is, but we need to make sure we’re more desperate than we have been the last four periods.”
2. Mental mistakes
The Pens made a lot of unforced mental errors in this game, and they paid for it. Their biggest ones happened early in the second, because even though they got down early, they weren’t out. They came out strong, creating a lot of odd-man rushes and chances in the first couple of minutes. But then, a misread by Rob Scuderi – where he tried to deflect away what would have been an easy save for Marc-Andre Fleury and instead directed it into his own net – and an avoidable delay-of-game penalty by Simon Despres put the Rangers up 4-1, just like that. From there, the Penguins started getting undisciplined and that can’t happen. It’s hard enough to mount a comeback against a team like the Rangers, who are so defensively sound and backed by incredible goaltending. It’s even more difficult when you’re down a man.
3. Never say die
Even after spotting the Rangers that three-goal lead, while the rest of the Penguins looked deflated the line of Chris Kunitz, Crosby and David Perron continued to battle. They came up with a big score to cut New York’s lead to 4-2 early in the third. And while the Rangers got it back, those three kept playing hard until the final horn sounded. Theirs was the only line that kept crashing the crease and getting in Henrik Lundqvist’s face. They were noticeable in that regard.